Baroreflex responsiveness during hypobaric hypoxia

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1991 May;62(5):397-402.


Baroreflex responses to graded neck suction during held expiration were studied in five healthy females at sea level and at a simulated altitude of 4,572 m (15,000 ft), with and without oxygen administration. An apparent resetting of the baroreflex was observed during hypobaric hypoxia, but this effect was abolished by oxygen administration. Held expiration alone induced a pulse prolongation in all experimental conditions, however this bradycardiac response was smaller during hypobaric hypoxia than during the two normoxic conditions. When the bradycardic responses of held expiration were subtracted, the baroreflex responses to neck suction were equal in all experimental situations. Similarly, the baroreflex was unaffected by hypobaric hypoxia when the R-R interval prolongations were expressed in percentage of the R-R intervals immediately prior to the neck suction. These data indicate that reduced ambient pressure per se has no influence on the carotid baroreflex control of heart rate.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Altitude
  • Atmospheric Pressure*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / blood
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology*
  • Neck
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Pressoreceptors / physiopathology*
  • Pulse
  • Reflex*
  • Suction


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oxygen